4to. [22 x 16 cm], (8), including engraved title, 228 ff., including over 100 superb large woodcut illustrations in text of which many full-page, and with 1 folded plate & 3 plates with volvelles (Pp1 r, Pp1 v, Qq1 r). Printed ownership ticket of Capuchin friar as well as former library stamp of the Capuchin library of Piacenza. Bound in early flexible vellum, minor soiling to covers. ¼ inch repair to upper right corner of title and following leaf; minor soiling or light browning to a handful of leaves, otherwise very good.
First edition, second issue of the first ‘encyclopedia’ of astronomical instruments, a specialized astronomical equivalent of the kind of work which becomes the dominant medium for the dissemination of technological information in the late 16th and 17th centuries: an amply illustrated compendium on the design and operation of (in this case) astronomical and mathematical-related instruments. Pioneered by Jacques Besson in France, this kind of work aimed to communicate as much through illustration as through text, and was continued in Italian by such figures as Zonca and Branca as well as Gallucci.
Gallucci’s work describes instruments for celestial observation and surveying. Most of these instruments had already been described in separate monographs or instruction manuals by makers such as Roias, Finé, Apianus, Frisius, Stöffler, Agrippa, Scarani and others. Evidently many had become difficult to procure even in Gallucci’s time, and a few of the instruments described appear to be otherwise unknown. The work describes and reproduces a number of drawing instruments for surveying, of which the most notable is the polimetrum, a universal measuring instrument which measured vertical as well as horizontal angles pioneered at the beginning of the 16th century by the famous cartographer Martin Waldseemüller. This instrument was first reproduced, though curiously unaccompanied by any explanation of its use, in the 1512 edition of the Margarita philosophica.
Gallucci was an Italian astronomer and a major popularizer of various kinds of astronomical instruments. He published several illustrated books on the subject, often with movable parts, in the style of Apianus. De Fabrica et Uso di diversi Stromenti is one of his rarer productions.
* Riccardi I.570-71 9.2; Kiely, Surveying Instruments, pp. 158, 166, 190, 192, 198.